Most Android Vendors Lost Linux License, Now Stealing Software

Friday, August 19, 2011
By OP Editor

How low can you go to steal software? Google’s Android violates open Linux license.

Android thief

Android Lost Linux License

Foss Patents’ “Most Android vendors lost their Linux distribution rights, could face shakedown or shutdown” article has a full analysis of these issues:

  • rampant non-compliance with the source code disclosure requirement of the GPLv2 (the license under which Linux is published) — especially but not only in connection with Honeycomb — has technically resulted in a loss of most vendors’ right to distribute Linux;
  • this loss of the distribution license is irremediable except through a new license from each and every contributor to the Linux kernel, without which Android can’t run; and
  • as a result, there are thousands of people out there who could legally shake down Android device makers, threatening to obtain Apple-style injunctions unless their demands for a new license grant are met.

Prominent Free Software organizations, The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), has a similar view of the matter.

Basically, due to closed nature of Android Honeycomb and other variants, Google and Android makers appeared to have lost license to distribute their Linux based product. To get the license reinstated, the violator needs to go to each of thousands of contributors and ask for permission, or replace their code. Instead of doing either, Google choose to ignore the Linux license and rip off the work of free software contributors. No wonder there are all these legal actions against Android:

ObamaPacman: Dear Google, Stealing Linux, a software created by hard work of thousands of independent developers, is quite low. What’s next? Stealing puppies from the orphanage?


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Tags: Android, Apple, Fail, iPad, iPhone

6 Responses to “Most Android Vendors Lost Linux License, Now Stealing Software”

  1. Don

    Nothing new here, Android have been stealing from the get-go all along, the bastards!

  2. Don

    When I think of it, Apple should try and buy as many of these licenses and then refuse Google’s Android from every using them again!

    • Oracle Java suit might just force a complete rewrite of Android. That would put Android on the same playing field as the failed webos, RIM QNX, etc.
      It might be easy for a large company to buy out some of the contributors to refuse Google Linux.

  3. Pradeep

    I can’t believe I ended up wasting my Saturday morning, reading these ‘pac of lies’! Ironically I ended up here using Google search (I wouldn’t be surprised if I find an article here to say Google copied the search engine idea from Apple!). If you really want your readers to know the truth, let them read the original statement from FSF, not someone’s interpretation of it. Here is the original article if you care to publish:

    • I am sorry Pradeep but you can’t be more wrong.

      The FSF article “Android GPLv2 termination worries: one more reason to upgrade to GPLv3 ” confirmed that
      - Android is published under GPLv2
      - GPLv2 has issue described here so they made GPLv3
      - Android is not using GPLv3

      Nothing in the article disagreed with the FACT that Android vendors and Google violated their GPLv2 license and are technically pirating free software without license.


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